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News and Updates 2015

December 19th 2015 - Great link here to St. Helen's Victoria Park bandstand opening

December 19th 2015 - Penarth bandstand. I wonder when we stopped wearing hats.

December 19th 2015 - Elsecar Park bandstand. Yates and Haywood Foundry from Rotherham. Well maintained by Barnsley MBC

December 19th 2015 - a great bandstand in Dartmouth, still with screens. Lion Foundry - not many as good as this.

December 19th 2015 - a fantastic piece of history here, Regent's Park in London. Regents Park open-air class, dated pre 1915. It functioned from 1911-36 for children from Marylebone TB dispensary. The photograph was a poor quality one in Yearbook of open-air schools and children's sanatoria, 1915,

December 19th 2015 - West Park, Goole, another restoration and another re-opening. 

December 19th 2015 - Raphael Park, Romford, in Essex, recently restored by the LB Havering and part of a lottery funded project. 

December 19th 2015 - not sure where this is? Its West Yorkshire as its Kirklees so possibly Dewsbury? 

December 19th 2015 - how about this for a long lost bandstand. Davyhulme Park, Urmston, Manchester. What a shame. Its so lovely. 

December 19th 2015 - a really rare image this one - North Park Recreation Ground in Darlington, its the only image I know of for this recently restored bandstand. 

December 19th 2015 - a great link here to the history of the long lost bandstand in Brockwell Park, London.

December 19th 2015 - a reminder of summer in the parks. Exhibition Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, recently restored thanks to Lottery funding. 

19th December 2015 - this rather unusual bandstand located in Columbia, California which is a restored old gold mining town about 100 miles east of San Francisco. Quaint indeed. Sent in by Mark Watkin of Watford. 

3rd November - Ilkeston and Victoria Park, looking very poor and dejected. Rumour was it is being done up. Watch this space as its a sad mess 

29th October - looking like this one in Hyde, Tameside may be getting a lick of paint - its overdue 

29th October - Lovely link here to the Llandudno bandstand and its history

29th October - The AMEX Stadium, home of Brighton and Hove Albion FC - this temporary bandstand - pretty horrible but well used before games apparently. 

29th October - Alexandra Gardens, Windsor - a lovely Lion Foundry bandstand back to celebrate the Queen being the longest reigning monarch. Another great job by Lost Art as always. 

29th October - Mary Stevens Park Bandstand - restored and back in use in Stourbridge - well done HLF and Dudley MBC - great link here.

11th October - Just discovered this website, sent to me by the Friends of Hillyfields Park - have a look at what they are doing - great stuff and wish more would.

15th September 2015 - Making Music plugging the website - link here. Please do share

14th September 2015 - MK Brass - Proms in the Park in Parsons Rec, Leighton Buzzard - a lovely evening too

15th August 2015 - Harlow Band in Harlow Park on the restored bandstand. 

15th August 2015 - a rather lovely bandstand in Tavira, on the Algarve - with a moat, fountains and terapins. 

1st August 2015 - work progressing well on the Lion Foundry bandstand in Alexandra Gardens in Windsor. Due to open in mid September. 

19th July 2015 - Leighton Buzzard Parson's Recreation Ground - a wonderful Jazz band in the park that actually got people up and dancing. 

17th July 2015 - a confusing blog here - whats he on about??? thought I was the nerd.

17th July 2015 - Ruskin Park Friends Music in the Park - check it out here

17th July 2015 - A truly wonderful project and initiative in Edinburgh to bring back the bandstand to Saughton Park. This has been in storage for decades and features in my book "Bandstands". It is indeed a rare bandstand and to see it come out of storage and back where it belongs would be fantastic. Please do spread the word on this one. The link is here. 

17th July 2015 - Harlow Town Council well on with the restoration of the Town Park bandstand. Its not a great thing of beauty but it has a real charm. I can't wait to see it open and used again. A little bit of history on this one:-

1971- Bandstand constructed (without changing room block at this time). Various minor works to extend it and install disabled and more modern changing facilities took place in 1975, 1984 and 1989.

Free concerts at the bandstand were held annually from 1973 to 1981, with other seasons occurring right up until 1991. Bands ranged from pop acts such as the Bay City Rollers to folk acts such as Fairport Convention and jazz bands. There were also Folk Festivals held here as well. Fantastic link here to many of these gigs including Hawkwind and Mungo Jerry.

13th July 2015 - Leeds City Council despite losing most of its original bandstands, still has a few remaining but also has a number of bands in the parks too. Check out the link here

13th July 2015 - 3 contrasting bandstands this weekend - 1) Newcastle's Exhibition Park re-opens after HLF funded restoration. A rather exotic looking Walter MacFarlane model. Beautiful colour scheme expertly restored by Chris Topp Associates; 2) Watford's Hill & Smith bandstand, rarely used but about to be restored in late 2015 and re-instated back into Cassiobury Park, thanks to Lottery money, and 3) Newsham Park bandstand in Liverpool with a plea locally to save the bandstand which is in dire straits. 

10th July 2015 - fantastic website celebrating Brockwell Park bandstand and its history - click here

9th July 2015 - a great link to a fantastic website celebrating Durham bandstands by Rob Bowman. Some wonderful photos here

7th July 2015 - a great meeting with Making Music in London today - do check out their website here. An organisation dedicated to getting people and members making music. There is a vast array of information here that is worth looking at including insurance for voluntary groups, advice on managing events, resources for local bands and it goes on. Worth a look but they are very supportive of the concept of bringing bandstands back to life.

7th July 2015 - Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge - restoration underway. Not long until a good programme underway here

7th July 2015 - Stanley Park, Blackpool - fantastic events programme - link here

25th June 2015 - Bedford Embankment Gardens Summer Programme - click here

24th June 2015 - More summer programmes below. Check out on

Bewdley, Kidderminster and Stourport - all here

Wells City Council summer programme here

Guildford Castle Programme on a lovely bandstand in a great setting

Chester bandstand down by the River Dee

Jubilee Gardens, Ely - a great programme here

Castle Grounds in Tamworth, another excellent programme - all here

Broadstairs bandstand - a great coastal location - click here

Reading, Forbury Gardens - fantastic bandstand - still used. Click here

Colchester bandstand - needs more on this one but some activity - here

Ropner Park, Stockton on Tees - stunning bandstand - click here

Filey Town Council with a great programme of events - click here

Sanders Park, Bromsgrove - still going on here, programme here

Vale Park, Wallasey - events still here

Sheffield events in parks here

Greenwich Park with an active Friends Group - link here to events

Myatt's Field bandstand in Lambeth - I do like this one and still used. Scope for more though. Events here

Stanley Park, Blackpool - one of the busiest bandstands in the country - click here

Godalming in Surrey and a great programme of events here too - click here

Battersea Park - lots of scope here but gets some use - good event here

Abingdon Park, Northampton - one of the busiest bandstands in Britain - check this out here

Grove Park in Dunstable - great events list here

20th June 2015 - Lots of summer programmes under way - many below

Stratford upon Avon Summer concert programme

Lymington Summer concert programme

Embankment Gardens, London

Brass Band events link on the IBEW website

Melton Mowbray

16th June 2015 - Summer Programme for Buxton Pavilion Gardens

16th June 2015 - Summer Programme for Harrogate Parks

16th June 2015 - A new bandstand in Wardown Park in Luton gets closer. Funding secured courtesy of Luton Rotary Club. The new design is quite funky and very contemporary.

The old one is below - a Walter MacFarlane 279 from the Saracen Foundry of Glasgow. 

14th June 2015 - A new Facebook page is set up

Check here for regular updates and promotions on Pavilions for Music CIC

14th June 2015 - History is made on Battersea Park bandstand - the first couple to tie the knot - see below but a number of bandstands are licensed for marriages and already had a request in relation to the Watford bandstand which is moving back to Cassiobury Park. Link to Battersea is here

13th June 2015 - Liverpool International Music Festival - a wonderful array of events as part of the Liverpool IMF on 3 bandstands in this amazing city. Get down and see one. Click here for details

13th June 2015 - a fantastic Summer Programme of events for 2015 in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets on their rather unique bandstand. Click here for details.

9th June 2015 - Proms in the Park in Darlington's South Park Sunday 28th June. Details are here. 

7th June 2015 - Summer Concerts start in Leighton Buzzard Parsons Recreation Ground on the simple but elegant bandstand today. Concerts most Sundays 3-5pm. Go Check them out. The link is here

7th June 2015 - Lindy Hop and Swing all on and around a bandstand? Check the facebook link here. Greenwich Bandstand, Sunday August 2nd 3pm-5pm - courtesy of South London Community Music. 

6th June 2015 - New Bandstand in Aldershot - Princes Gardens - Great programme with details here. Starts on 4th July 

5th June 2015 - Great link to All4Brass and thank you for publishing. Great coverage. Link is here

5th June 2015 - Summer events at Gorleston on Sea Bandstand by Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Great to see such a fantastic programme on here. Well done. Click here for details

29th May 2015 - Frank Skinner Show on Absolute Radio

A plug on the Frank Skinner Show after a tip off that he was discussing bandstands live on air, which instigated a number of texts and emails and a plug for the 2 books as well as for bandstands in general. It all helps. 

Brass Bands on Bandstands

Many people have asked what the relevance of bandstands are today. There used to be over 40,000 brass bands in the mid to late 19th century. There are many fewer today but the brass band world is still very much alive and kicking. If you look at any programme on any well used bandstand, you will see they are still dominated by brass bands. I played in many for a number of years and have happy memories of Middleton in Teesdale Silver Band, Barnard Castle Silver Band and Brampton and District Silver Band. I had minor flirtations with Chapeltown Silver Band and Rotherham Town Band too, but all great times, blasting out tunes on my Cornet and Tenor Horn. The survival of bandstands is very much part dependent on the brass band movement and the website links below give an insight into this amazing world. Have a look and many of these bands would snap up a chance to play on your local bandstand.

30th May 2015 - Betrothed on a Bandstand

Who would have thought it! Getting married on a bandstand. If only this had been possible years ago and I would have been first in the queue although the current Mrs. Rabbitts may have been less enthused. Anyway, I received these (see below) yesterday from Burslem Park in Stoke. A once not very pretty bandstand has been restored as has the park thanks again to the Heritage Lottery Fund. But it is now licensed for weddings as are a number of bandstands - Weston Park, Sheffield; Stanley Park, Liverpool; West Pier, Brighton to name but a small number. I will add to the database. What a fantastic use for a bandstand. 

Grange over Sands 2015 updates

Updates for this years summer season for Grange over Sands Town Council - click here for the programme. It is fantastic that the Town Council still have concerts here annually. Contact Sally Haines who works for Grange-over-Sands Town Council. Part of her job is to arrange the concerts in their bandstand in Park Road Gardens there in Grange. Two fabulous pictures of their bandstand are below with Flookburgh Brass Band.

The list of the dates for this season’s “Music in the Park” are for concerts which are held on Sundays between the end of May & end of August/beginning of September 2 – 4pm.

Entrance to the park is free although we do encourage the bands/musicians to take a collection. 

May 25th 2015

More updates on this with more contact details on the database and most of the postcodes updated. I have started to pull together details of Friends Groups too. Summer is coming up and lots of events on bandstands near you but there are still many with nothing going on them. Contact your Local Council and get gigging. It should be free.

Next - sorting out a few meetings and looking how to get some grant money to really get this going.


Wilton Lodge Park, Hawick - opened in May 2015 - Fantastic to see this bandstand back as part of an HLF/BIG Lottery funded project under Parks for People. Well done to the Scottish Borders Council for making this happen and all those involved. A lovely McDowall Steven bandstand in a great location. Its already added to the database. goes live

I have managed to launch this in the end after weeks of pulling lists together, browsing the web, emailing groups and google google google!! The response has been brilliant and nearly 1,500 hits in the first week and some lovely emails from Local Authority colleagues. Some great feedback too like "how about adding a map" or a "postcode search" or what about adding to the database a list of contacts for Friends Groups as they are more likely to want to put on something on a bandstand. All good stuff..... SO.... the website will continue to develop and the following to be looked into:-

  • Add more email contacts and widen the distribution list

  • Add postcodes to them all

  • Look at a separate database for Friends Groups

  • Look at funding opportunities to widen the scope of the project

  • Look at a mapping solution to link to postcodes

All in good time, but please do keep sharing and advertising opportunities for using your bandstand. A bad example was Sunday just gone - Embankment Gardens, Bedford, a scout event right next to the bandstand and they had erected a gazebo next to it and it was ignored, and locked!!! a missed opportunity.

Please see link here for the press release. 

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